Cristiano Ronaldo Serves First Game Suspension, Real Madrid Wins

Real Madrid has entered life without Cristiano Ronaldo as he served the first of his three game suspension following the red card ejection from last Sunday against Athletic Bilbao. But no matter, Real Madrid didn’t skip a beat and still won 4-2 against Villareal.

In Ronaldo’s absence Real Madrid proved that it has enough depth to lose their biggest superstar and still come on top convincingly.

Forwards Gareth Bale and Jese Rodriguez stepped it up giving “los blancos” a victory that will go a long way to put jittery fans at ease, after learning that Cristiano Ronaldo will miss three games. One down, two to go.

Bale and Rodriguez also set up goals for Karim Benzema for the final victory.

Jesé Rodriguez has been involved in 5 of Real Madrid’s last 9 goals. 4 goals, 1 assist. GOLD. pic.twitter.com/OTZe40aIDX

— SocialRMadrid (@SocialRMadrid) February 8, 2014

Real Madrid — without Cristiano Ronaldo — now sits at the top of La Liga’s standings with 57 points, tied with Atletico de Madrid.

However, Real has a slight lead as they have an additional point in the goal difference column.

Cristiano Ronaldo is serving the three-game suspension for making a disrespectful gesture towards the ref after he was shown the red and even though Real Madrid appealed the decision and the ref in question has received a suspension of his own, the suspension stands.

In the post-game interview Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti talked about how Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence affected the team and Bale and Jese’s performances:

“The absence of Cristiano motivates the rest. He is indispensable for us. Without him, the others work harder.”

“Gareth played a great game and got a goal and an assist. And Jese continues to do very well. He works hard, he helps out – and that’s what we want from him. He gives us so much for someone his age.”

As the next two games come around, Ancelotti will have to decide how to shuffle things when Cristiano Ronaldo returns to the line-up in a few weeks, with Jese playing extremely well and Gareth a favorite to remain a starter.